China agriculture and food counsellor appointed

The UK’s first agriculture and food counsellor in China has been appointed, to help increase British food and drink exports to the country.

Karen Morgan, who currently leads the Competitive Farming team at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), will take up the position in the spring.
The role is intended to help British firms capitalise on growing Chinese interest in speciality foods, a market expected to be worth £39 billion this year.
Morgan said: “I am delighted to be taking on this role. It is a very exciting time to be in China, where the opportunities for British exports are vast and growing all the time.”
British food and drink businesses occupy a growing share of the Chinese market, exporting £215m-worth of produce in 2013, up from £136m in 2012. The Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) estimates the value of the pig meat trade to greater China in 2014 at £50m.

Peter Kendall, chairman, AHDB, said: “This new post represents a long-term strategic levy investment by AHDB, together with our continued close cooperation with the China Business Council. I know the AHDB export team is looking forward to working with Karen to expand our activities in China’s meat, livestock and dairy markets and to help create new opportunities for fresh produce and cereals.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Elizabeth Truss said: “The appointment of our first agriculture and food counsellor in Beijing will strengthen our trade and negotiating presence in China and help UK businesses take advantage of the vast opportunities the Chinese market represents.”

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